Leadership 26

After our brief time walking through 2 Chronicles 7:14, we now return to our reflections on Nehemiah. This Old Testament book, though maybe not familiar to us as some, has powerful and relevant applications for us especially as it speaks to those who are leaders.

To review briefly, Nehemiah had been called by God to do a difficult if not impossible task; to rebuild the decimated walls of the city of Jerusalem. The first wave of Jewish exiles had returned and began a process of resettling in the city. But without the protection of a wall around the city the people could not thrive.

And so God raised up a leader. A layman, working in the personal service of the most powerful king on earth, was chosen by God as His instrument to lead the reconstruction of the walls.

Never believe for a moment that God cannot or will not step into the midst of your world and completely redirect your life for His purposes. Maybe those purposes will be very task-specific as was Nehemiah’s. Or maybe He will call you to service in another nation or to adopt a child.

Nehemiah was willing to go. But several obstacles stood before him, most formidable the king for whom he worked.

A tough conversation was on the horizon. Wisely Nehemiah prayed before he spoke. He also was willing to wait. And wait. For four months Nehemiah prayed.

Proverbs 21:1 tells us, “The heart of the king is like a stream of water in the hands of Lord. He turns it wherever He will.” If God can move a king’s thoughts and incline them toward His purposes, the heart of any person can be moved; a difficult and capricious boss, an unreachable spouse, a wayward child. Without violating their personhood and ability to choose God can sovereignty act to achieve His will.

And so a divine preparation which had been under way for four months came to a moment of opportunity for Nehemiah. He had prayed. Now his faith required action. He stepped out and laid his request before the king. Humbly but with specific detail he made his request known. The king heard and gave what Nehemiah had asked!

Amazing things happen when we pray believing. But we need to be ready to move when the moment arrives…

… and not look back.


FOR MEDITATION: And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me. Nehemiah 2:8c

FOR REFLECTION: Do your dreams and ideas have an action plan? A dream remains only a dream until it is expressed in concrete acts. What is the next step you must take to make the dream a reality?

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